Abdominal Muscles1

Abdominal exercises work the abdominal muscles. The abdominal wall is composed of 3 major muscle groups and 4 distinct areas: the rectus abdominis (composed of the upper and lower abs), the obliques, and the transversus abdominis.

Upper and Lower Abdominals - The rectus abdominis is the most visible abdominal muscle group in the center of the abdomen.[1] It is responsible for the six-pack.

Oblique Abdominals - The oblique muscles are the largest abdominal muscles that run vertically along both sides of the torso.[2][3]

Transverse Abdominals - The transversus abdominis is the deepest abdominal muscle. It sits below the oblique muscles.[4]

Abdominal Exercises Edit

Upper and Lower Abdominals

Upper ab exercises typically utilize the basic crunching motion. Exercises include:

  • Crunches with an Assortment of Leg Positions
  • Crunches with Raised Hips
  • Toe Touches
  • Crunches with Exercise Ball

Lower ab exercises typically utilize a simple knee or hip raise. Exercises include:

  • Reverse Crunches
  • Knee Raises
  • Hanging Knee Raises
  • Hip Raises

Oblique Abdominals

Oblique exercises typically utilize a twisting motion to work the side abdominals. Exercises include:

  • Side Crunches
  • Side Bends
  • Ab Twists
  • Side Leg Raises
  • Side Jackknives
  • Side Bridges

Transverse abdominal exercises typically utilize bridging motions to engage the transverse abdominal muscles. Unlike the ab exercises for the upper, lower, and oblique muscles which involve movement of the torso, bridging motions are held constant for a period of time (30-60 seconds). Exercises include:

  • Prone Plank
  • Stability Ball Bridge
  • Stomach Vacuum

Abdominal Workouts Edit

Ab Workouts

Ab Workouts

How to Build Ab Workouts

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